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The Best Gravel Cleaners for Your Fish Tank

cleaning of gravel through a tube in a freshwater aquarium

A gravel cleaner is probably one of the most essential yet overlooked pieces of equipment for any fish tank. Regardless of your expertise in aquarium maintenance or the amount of fish you own, if you have an aquarium with gravel or pebbles dispersed at the bottom of your tank, you’re going to want to invest in a gravel cleaner. A gravel cleaner essentially works as a vacuum cleaner that effectively helps separate and remove debris and fish waste to keep your tank’s environment healthy for your fish. It’s an easy-to-use tool that will also make your tank-cleaning routine much easier. Here are some we recommend.

Purchasing a Fish Tank Gravel Cleaner

When shopping for the best fish tank gravel cleaner, there is really one main factor to consider:

  • Size: The size of your gravel cleaner will depend on the size of your fish tank and how deep it is, so be sure to measure your tank properly so that you can buy the right size. All cleaners are basically designed the same with a rigid plastic tube attached to a hose that sits in your aquarium, so you want a hose that will reach the bottom of your tank.

Now let’s dive in and take a look at the best gravel cleaners!

Best Mini: Python Pro-Clean Mini

clear tube for cleaning fish tank gravel

The Python mini gravel cleaner is perfect for a beginner or an experienced aquarium owner. The design is extremely simple with its flexible, high-quality tubing and unique gravel tube material. The small vacuum head and narrow hose make this mini cleaner an ideal tool for fish bowls and smaller aquariums up to 10 gallons in size.

Best Mini

Python Pro Clean-Mini 1" x 6" Tube with 6 ft. Hose

This mini gravel cleaner is great for small fish bowls and is an affordable siphon kit.

Best Small: Lee’s Ultra GravelVac

short clear tube for fish tank

Designed to separate and remove excess junk from your aquarium gravel, this small gravel cleaner from Lee’s is one of the best of its size. It has a self-start siphon, and one of its best features is its wide-mouth nozzle to make it easier to clean the hard-to-reach areas and increase surface coverage by 20%, enabling a faster cleaning process.

Best Small

Lee's Ultra GravelVac, Self-Start with Nozzle & Hose Clip - 9" Small

An efficient and durable gravel cleaner that also comes with a hose clip.

Best Medium: Python No Spill Clean and Fill

longer clear tube or hose for cleaning fish tanks

The best medium-sized gravel cleaner is the 25-foot no-spill gravel cleaner from Python. It is both a gravel siphon and a tank filling tool so that there’s no mess involved, and you don’t need a bucket while you change your tank’s water. Python’s 25-foot hose can accommodate 20 to 50 gallons of water. It adapts easily to most faucets, while the vacuum head is quite large, making cleaning large tanks a lot easier than other gravel cleaners. Extended length gravel tubes are sold separately.

Best Medium

Best Large: HVDI Fish Tank Gravel Cleaner

long clear tube in a bundle with accessories for cleaning fish tanks

Suitable for most faucets, the HVDI fish tank gravel cleaner is available in 30 feet and 50 feet, making this one of the more ideal cleaners for large aquariums. The package comes with a universal connector and a threaded faucet adapter, so it’s easy to install and operate with no bucket required. The non-electric cleaning tube has a built-in filter, and it’s quiet so that your fish will not be disturbed while you clean their house.

Best Large

HVDI Fish Tank Gravel Cleaner, Auto Siphon Vacuum Aquarium Water Changer Kit, No-Spill Pump Maintenance Tool with Flow Control Valve (30ft)

Using the pressure of tap water, this massive gravel cleaner makes water changes smarter and easier.

Omid Khanzadeh Omid Khanzadeh
Omid is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. He studied psychology and creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University, and his work has been featured in publications such as Allied Forces Press and various STEM textbooks. He enjoys playing soccer and watching old kung-fu movies. Read Full Bio »
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